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October 14, 1968

The Community Hospital as a Major Focus for Continuing Medical Education

Author Affiliations

From the Boston Hospital for Women and the Department of Preventive Medicine, Harvard Medical School, Boston.

JAMA. 1968;206(3):615-616. doi:10.1001/jama.1968.03150030071015

I was introduced to the "boondocks phenomenon" by a cardiac surgeon from a large community hospital located in a city some distance from Boston. He comes to Boston one day a week to teach medical students.

"Of course," he said, "they think I am coming down from the boondocks." Continuing, he said:

You know we have a major educational program at our hospital, and I sometimes go back in the boondocks to talk to the staffs of small rural hospitals. And what do they ask me? "What are we going to do about the men back in the boondocks?"

My point is that the boondocks exist only in the eye of the viewer. The boondocks are where the other fellows work. Where I work is "the field." There are really no sharp breaks in the continuity of one enormous health care system that extends to the nethermost physician taking care